Linus Torvalds (Wikimedia)

Linus was joking about NSA backdoor

But such government pressure on technologists is all too possible and real


Natasha Lennard
September 20, 2013 7:03PM (UTC)

Like a number of other commentators, I took seriously Linus Torvalds' joke Thursday that the government had asked him to install a backdoor in his open-source operating system, Linux.

While it's a relief that Torvalds has flatly denied receiving any such government pressure ("Oh, Christ. It was obviously a joke, no government agency has ever asked me for a backdoor in Linux," Torvalds told Mashable . "Really. Cross my heart and hope to die, really"), such government intrusion into the very structure of the Internet is all too real.

Advertisement:

As RSA Security's warning to developer clients this week confirmed, NSA pressure saw the very mathematical algorithms used in standard encryption weakened when developed to enable NSA surveillance.


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

MORE FROM Natasha LennardFOLLOW natashalennardLIKE Natasha Lennard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Backdoor Joke Linus Torvalds Linux Nsa Operating System Surveillance

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •